New Nielsen data shows cable TV reigns supreme, but streaming is winning fast

Take a guess: what percentage of all monthly TV viewing time is spent watching content on Netflix, the king of all streamers

The answer, according to Nielsen, is much smaller: Six percent of American adult television is via Netflix. Another 6% occurs through YouTube. Hulu represents 3%, Amazon Prime Video 2% and Disney + 1%. All types of streaming make up 26% of the US television regime, about as much as broadcast television, which accounts for 25%. Cable TV accounts for 39% of all television consumption. 9% of “other” viewings, including VOD and DVD players, complete the cake.

Nielsen calls visualization “The gauge.” Each month, the measurement company plans to show how streaming “overlaps with traditional broadcasting and cable TV.” The first “Gauge” came out Thursday, and it provided significant reality check to conversations about the future of video, entertainment, news, and more.

My takeaway: Streaming may take up three-quarters of the media world’s attention, but right now it only accounts for a quarter of viewership time. Streaming could possibly cannibalize everything, but that day is far away. But maybe you got the opposite – maybe the streaming portion of the pie is bigger than you expected!

Nielsen as “referee”

NYT’s John Koblin got his first look at the new # Nielsen on Thursday, including speaking with Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings, who threw her weight behind her. Hastings said Nielsen was “a good place to referee or mark how streaming is changing the American television landscape.” His quotes – “they are urged to be precise,” he also said – will go a long way in making this measure a new benchmark for the industry.
Quote from Koblin’s story: “Asked about Nielsen’s report that broadcast and cable TV, also known as linear TV, continues to dominate viewing habits, Mr Hastings said he was ‘surprised’ but he didn’t expect it to last. on which streaming takes over linearly, ”he said. “At 6% per year, it’s not going to be long. “”

According to Nielsen, streaming’s share was around 14% in 2019, around 20% in 2020, and is at 26% now, so that’s what Hastings meant by 6% per year …

Hastings and Kilar

“The Gauge” tells us nothing about the performance of individual shows or movies. And streaming services don’t tell us much either. So there is still a lack of visibility on industry decisions. But the dearth of data also makes every occasional glimpse, like “The Gauge,” more important.

Hastings tweeted about # Thursday and wrote: “Wild that most of the TV time in the US is still linear. The broadcast team needs to improve their game.” He tagged Jason Kilar, the CEO of WarnerMedia, and said “we need you on the board too,” a reference to the fact that HBO Max made up less than 1% of all TV shows and streaming in May, according to Nielsen, and therefore didn’t do it on the pie chart.
Kilar replied that WarnerMedia “already has a strong board presence in this bigger piece of green pie,” citing cable brands like TNT, TBS, CNN, HBO and Cartoon Network. “Proud to serve customers the way they choose,” Kilar wrote. “Fun to also be the fastest growing newcomer to @hbomax (2 Qs in a row out of 2.5 million US submarines additions).” That’s the job of established media companies, isn’t it? Operate traditional television and streaming on parallel tracks, knowing that streaming is the growth path.

Active versus passive

Nielsen’s pie chart shows the difference between active and passive hearing, IMHO. Most of the streaming consumption is active, which means people choose a particular episode to watch at a specific time that is convenient for them. Some of the broadcast and cable TV consumption is also active, but a greater proportion is passive, meaning people turn it on and watch whatever is happening. They can leave it on for hours or switch between a few favorite channels. My gut tells me the average family wants both: sometimes they want to lean in and pick a show (I’m always late on “The Handmaid’s Tale”) and other times they want to turn CNN on and leave it on. This is why “The Gauge” is useful: Nielsen provides a holistic view of a typical TV diet …

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